Do meta descriptions still matter in SEO?
10 mistakes to avoid when writing
So avoid making those big meta description mistakes.
Yes. But maybe not for the reasons you initially think.
Since you always need meta descriptions, there are some best practices you should follow when creating them.
We can definitely say that meta descriptions aren’t a huge factor in how your content ranks in Google, but if Bing is a goal for you, they support them and give them more weight.
Either way, we all know SEO isn’t all about ranking.
Search engine optimization is also about your brand authority, interaction with your target audience, call to action and more.
Meta descriptions are still very important as they are and contribute to a significant portion of the content displayed in search engine results.
A URL, a clickable page title in blue, and a text snippet that represents the meta description you created.
Meta descriptions are always an opportunity for site owners to “promote” a page and incorporate a call to action directly into search results.
A meta description can include a call to action “Click to learn more / read / discover more!” or “Click to buy now!
“If you manage a local business website, you can ask your users to “Call today at xxx-xxx-xxxx…
“This can be a particularly effective strategy as the number of mobile searches continues to increase.
If someone doing a search on a phone sees a list of search results (SERPs) and yours is the only one that includes a number they can call quickly without having to search any further, you’ve naturally increased your chances of receiving the call.
According to a recent study, Google chose to rewrite and replace meta descriptions more than 70% of the time on results displayed on mobile devices and a slightly lower percentage on desktops.
However, these snippets of site owner-generated content, by Google’s own admission, are a great way to provide a summary of what a web page is.And then Google can and will decide what it wants to do with that information.
How to optimize Meta-descriptions?
To optimize your Meta-descriptions, here are the mistakes to avoid:
Mistake 1: meta descriptions that are too long
There isn’t much room for a search result, especially on a mobile device.
The general rule for the maximum length of the meta description is 160 characters for desktops and 120 for mobile.
Interestingly, Google tends to give itself a bit more wiggle room on the characters when creating descriptions.
So even if you have the most ideal page summary ever written, Google is going to truncate it and, more likely, rewrite it completely if it exceeds those limits.
Concise and clear, yet engaging, meta descriptions are essential.
Mistake 2: meta descriptions that are too short
While brevity is important, it stands to reason that you should always make the most of the space allocated to summarize and promote your content.
There is a good chance that search engines will consider short meta descriptions to be lacking in substance and therefore lacking in quality.
With only 160 characters or less to play and a call to action to incorporate, there really shouldn’t be any reason for this to happen.
Error 3: the meta description is incompatible with the content of the page
Meta descriptions are intended to summarize the page to which they are associated
ées.Still, there are many instances, whether due to laziness or a lack of attention to detail, where multiple meta descriptions don’t accurately reflect what’s on the page.
a lack of relevant keywords Think of the meta description as a place to expand your web page title. If you had the option of writing a longer title (which is even more restrictive than the per-character meta description), what keywords would you use?
Make sure you incorporate enough relevant, topical keywords to signal to search engines and your target audience that the description really matches the content on the page it describes.
Google will sometimes highlight keywords that it deems particularly relevant, which only increases your chances of getting noticed and interacting with your content in the SERPs.
Duplication of description Duplicate meta descriptions appearing on multiple website pages are usually the result of website owner laziness or oversights.
We all know that duplicate content is frowned upon by search engines and this is also true when it comes to descriptions. Each page should have its own unique and appealing description, otherwise search engine bots may skip it and the content it describes.
Sometimes meta descriptions are automatically generated by a CMS or plugin, then ignored or duplicated. If this all sounds familiar to you, take the time to review and optimize based on these suggestions.
Several instances of meta description duplication can overwhelm pagination pages. Often in CMS you have little control over it, especially when you are a beginner.
keyword stuffing Filling in the same or very similar keywords in the content of the web page is against SEO optimization and so are meta.
It’s good to incorporate a keyword or main phrase into your page description for consistency with your page title and potentially your URL (which Google will often highlight in search results).
Your meta description is boring Simply put, don’t create boring meta descriptions that searchers will immediately glance at.Give them a reason to stop, read, and maybe even click to find out more.
ignoring a call to actionIf you can fully describe the content and context of your page, and still have room to add a call to action, you can.
A nudge to your prospect / customer may be enough to get them to click on your link instead of your competition’s, which may be missing the same prompt.
There is a psychology underlying the use of calls to action whereby you focus your consumer on the benefits, minimize their risks, and / or create a sense of urgency.
Who wouldn’t want “Click now for a free, no-obligation offer!”?
Asking searchers to click on your result is a way to demonstrate your authority and can improve ranking in search results.
So why not use all possible means to improve your chances of receiving clicks?
Confusing meta descriptions with rich snippets As noted above, Google can only use your meta description about 30% of the time.and the rest of the content on your page is optimized for the hot and relevant keyword groups you hope to be found for.
Even if the search engine doesn’t use your description, it can still influence the final snippet displayed.
There are many types of snippets and best practices for creating and optimizing your content with optimized snippets in mind.
Right now, that point shouldn’t be made, but a quick review of many websites will reveal a fundamental lack of meta descriptions.
Maybe you’ve heard before that meta descriptions don’t matter and shouldn’t be prioritized.
When you have no description and limited content, it’s often Google that has to decide what to put in there.
In this case, Google, sometimes, simply enters the navigation, which provides little or no value or reason to click.